Most, if not all realtors, want you to believe that in this day and age of credit crunch and mortgage crisis, you cannot sell on your own. Not true. You can sell on your own with the proper tools, time management and marketing plan. If you follow my suggestions below, you'll be on the right path to success. It's not foolproof, but it is guaranteed to give you a solid footing in the FSBO game.
1. Real estate agents are your allies. They want and need your business to survive. Before putting your home on the market on your own, invite three different agents, from 3 different realty companies to provide you with a market analysis. This will allow you to accomplish three things:
a. You'll get the approximate value of your home. This will help you set your price.
b. You'll begin a relationship with a professional realtor and even if you have to do the unthinkable and list your home with a realtor, you'll at least have a contact that you can trust.
c. Realtors will identify any areas of concerns that you should address immediately before putting your home on the market i. e. painting, removing specific furniture to make rooms look bigger, etc.
2. Don't invest in newspaper advertisement. More than 80% of buyers start their home search online. Thus, you should create a one page website, with at least an email capture system or look into FSBO's listing service.
3. Pair up with a local mortgage broker so that if a buyer decides to place an offer on your home, you can at least know if he/she is qualified and credit worthy by asking the broker to screen out insincere or novice buyers. Mortgage brokers are happy to provide you with this service because it gives them an opportunity to get new leads.
4. Buy a lawn and several directional signs because open houses are important. 1 out of every two buyers attends at least one open house 6-12 months before purchasing. If you're holding your house open, remove all valuable and portable belongs. Call the local police and tell them that you house will be held open and pair up with a friend or spouse that will stay with you during the same hours realtors are holding their open houses. When possible, place your directional signs next to or near other open houses signs.
5. On your signage, offer to pay out a buyer's agent commission this way you will not alienate buyers with agents. Buyers are not always loyal to their agent, but at least the agent has qualified their client, which is one huge step that can save you time.
6. Do not place a flyer on the lawn along with the your lawn sign. Less is more. You want to be in control of your marketing and knowing who's interested in your house is important for follow up purposes. If people are randomly taking your flyers, you will not know who is sincerely interested.
7. The number of your lawn sign should be redirected to voicemail where the voicemail says something like this: “Thank you for calling 123 Main Street. This is a voicemail system only. For more details about this property, please leave your full name, telephone number or email address and I will be sure to return your call within 24 hours. "
8. Sellers Beware. Buyers know that you are selling on your own and in some cases, depending on the market you are in, you might get a novice buyer that is truly interested but does not know the buying process. Provide the seller with a handout that will describe what to do if you are buying a home directly through a FSBO. Google it or ask your attorney to prepare a summary as part of their service to you.
9. Sellers Beware: Some buyers are savvy. They know that you are saving on commission and they will most likely offer you 5-6% less because they too want to save the same amount on money you are saving.
10. If you haven't sold in 30-90 days on your own, hire a real estate professional, one that has been in the business with at least 2-5 years or one that has been in contact with you from the beginning. After 45 days on the market, your home has become “old news" and buyers will offer even less. They drive the neighborhoods and know how long your house has been on the market. Conversely, if you change the price of your home within the 45 days, call everyone back that has seen your home, including realtors and tell them about the price change.
Get started right with a one page, website